Health Symptoms & Solutions Is Your Dog Throwing Up Yellow Vomit? Here's What It Means

Is Your Dog Throwing Up Yellow Vomit? Here’s What It Means

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No pet owner wants to see their dog throwing up yellow vomit or yellow foam. When it comes to vomiting, there are a couple of issues that you should focus on: the color of the vomit, how often your pooch is throwing up, and signs of odd behavior – like Fluffy breaking into the stockpile of treats.

What Does A Dog Throwing Up Yellow Mean?

In a nutshell, the dog is vomiting bile. This is a digestive juice which is produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder. It is released in small amounts into the small intestines during the digestion process, to break down food and aid in the assimilation of nutrients into the body. The yellow bile in the vomit presents as a thick mucus or a foamy liquid.

Causes of Bile Showing Up In The Vomit

Your pooch is running on an empty stomach

If it’s been quite the while since Fluffy’s last meal, then the bile will begin irritating his stomach lining. This irritation occasionally induces vomiting, a condition called bilious vomiting syndrome. If this is the cause, then the yellow vomiting will be an occasional occurrence, and there may be evidence of foul play – i.e. damages to the property as your dog searches for something to eat. You may even see your dog eat grass to encourage this reaction.

The syndrome can also be caused by the dog’s diet lacking fiber, or a side-effect of medication. Giving Fluffy smaller and more regular meals, which include a high-fiber and low-fat diet, my have a positive impact to reduce your dog throwing up yellow vomit. If your dog is taking medication and you suspect that this is what has brought about the onset of the yellow vomiting, then you should have a discussion with your vet about it for further advice on continuing the treatment.

Allergic reactions

When a food allergen pops up in Bella’s diet, then he may end up vomiting. These are the likes of dairy, corn, soy or wheat. This is also exacerbated by suddenly changing her diet, leading to her getting an upset stomach, then vomiting occurs. Did you know that dogs can develop food allergies to meals that they have been eating for years? As such, it is important to pay close attention to your furry friend’s digestive habits.

Your pet eats grass

When your pooch feeds on grass—whether it is out of curiosity or they actually want to induce vomiting to offer their body some sort of relief, it may present itself with the yellow coloration. As you take those walks around the park, be keen on what the dog is doing, especially what she’s throwing down. Note that eating grass may be a pointer to cute Bella not getting sufficient nutrients from the dog food. You’ll need to consider what you’re feeding your dog and whether they’re experiencing weight loss.

Gastrointestinal disorders

Excessive yellow vomiting is often an indicator of digestive distress, and this should be brought to the attention of your vet as soon as possible. This can be caused by a wide range of conditions affecting your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, from bacteria or viral infections, toxic substances, pancreatitis, all through to parasites and ulcers.

There may also be foreign bodies that are stuck within the digestive system- like chew toys or bone pieces. Sometimes dogs actually crave and ingest non-food items, a condition called pica. These range from silverware and rocks, to socks and sporting goods. These can cause blockages in the small intestines, and at times require surgery to remove.

It may also be pancreatitis, which usually occurs after the dog eats fatty foods, that inflame the pancreas, leading to stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, usually one or two days after having the meal. Chronic cases of pancreatitis can be characterized by chronic inflammation plus fat intolerance, and here your vet can measure for this with a blood test. For cases of acute pancreatitis, the dog can go back to the normal diet, but for chronic pancreatitis you will need to shift to a long-term, low fat diet.

Adult black French bulldog lying on brown textile. Part of the "Is Your Dog Throwing Up Yellow Vomit? Here's What It Means" article.
Photo by Tinuke Bernard on Unsplash

How To Handle A Dog Throwing up Yellow Vomit?

Firstly, if the vomiting is extreme, or if it is accompanied by symptoms like diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy or blood in the vomit, then this requires additional diagnosis by a qualified vet to pin-point the underlying cause. This also applies for white foam in the vomit. However, if it is the occasional yellow vomiting, then there are ways that you can mitigate it to preserve your pooch’s health:

Switch to small, frequent meals

This will ensure that there will consistently be something in your pooch’s belly for the digestive juices to work on, preventing irritation of the dog stomach lining. Note the emphasis on “smaller” meals. You don’t want to give your dog more food frequently. Basically, if Fluffy takes 2 cups of dog food daily (like one in the morning and another at night), you can switch to four ½ cups a day.

Focus on dog foods that are easily digestible

When Bella is vomiting, give her a simple plain meal without added salt or seasoning. For instance, you can give her some rice and boiled chicken. The chicken here should not have fat. This plain diet of easily digestible foods will be gentle on her stomach, which is especially important after the trauma of the vomiting. After one or two days of the plain diet, you can gradually resume the usual meals.

Eggs are another often misunderstood food for dogs. Read our in-depth article to understadn the pros and cons of introducing eggs to a dog’s diet.

Provide plenty of water

Since vomiting can lead to dehydration, you should ensure that your pet has sufficient water around. In cases of chronic vomiting in dogs, the vet may go further to recommend in-office treatment with intravenous fluid administration.

Dog-proof your house

Pets are naturally curious, which may lead to unwanted objects or foods winding up in Fluffy’s mouth. Store away all chemicals—like cleaning solutions, and foods such as chocolate, out of the reach of your furry friend.


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